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What themes trigger investigative interviewers to ask specific questions when interviewing children?

Guadagno, Belinda L., Hughes-Scholes, Carolyn H. and Powell, Martine B. 2013, What themes trigger investigative interviewers to ask specific questions when interviewing children?, International journal of police science & management, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 51-60, doi: 10.1350/ijps.2013.15.1.301.

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Title What themes trigger investigative interviewers to ask specific questions when interviewing children?
Author(s) Guadagno, Belinda L.
Hughes-Scholes, Carolyn H.
Powell, Martine B.ORCID iD for Powell, Martine B.
Journal name International journal of police science & management
Volume number 15
Issue number 1
Start page 51
End page 60
Total pages 10
Publisher Vathek Publishing
Place of publication Dalby, Isle of Man
Publication date 2013
ISSN 1461-3557
Keyword(s) investigative interviewing
child sexual abuse
police training
Summary Recent research has established that investigative interviewers have difficulty adhering to openended questions and instead ask specific questions when interviewing children about abuse. The current study aims to examine the themes in abuse-related interviews that trigger investigators to ask specific questions. Twenty police officers who were authorised to conduct investigative interviews with children completed a mock interview with an expert in child abuse interviewing who had been trained to play the role of an abused child. During the interview, the officers were stopped by a researcher and asked to reflect on why they had asked specific questions. Overall, the results revealed five areas where the officers deviated from open-ended questions. These related to: (1) the identity of the alleged offender; (2) the meaning of terms used by the child to describe genitals; (3) whether or not penetration occurred; (4) the offender's intent and motives; and (5) the timing of the abuse and where it occurred. Each of these themes is discussed, along with the implications for trainers and researchers in child abuse interviewing.
Language eng
DOI 10.1350/ijps.2013.15.1.301
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 940406 Legal Processes
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
Higher Education Research Group
Connect to link resolver
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Created: Mon, 20 May 2013, 14:44:06 EST by Jane Moschetti

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